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Heat's Deadly Effects. Pre-Quiz. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, what was the deadliest type of extreme weather event to strike the US? Tornadoes Floods Heat. Question #1. The urban heat island phenomenon causes warmer temperatures in cities during both the daytime and the nighttime. True

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question 1

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, what was the deadliest type of extreme weather event to strike the US?

  • Tornadoes
  • Floods
  • Heat
Question #1
question 2

The urban heat island phenomenon causes warmer temperatures in cities during both the daytime and the nighttime.

  • True
  • False
Question #2
question 4

According to the IPCC, heat waves are expected to increase in

Frequency

Magnitude

Duration

All of the above

Question #4
question 6

When high heat threatens, what anticipatory guidance can health practitioners give to patients and their families to help them stay safe? Give three examples.

Question #6
2012 ipcc special report

The IPCC is “virtually certain” [99-100% certainty] that [by the end of this century] the earth will experience a decrease in the frequency and magnitude of cold days/nights and an increase in frequency and magnitude of unusually warm days and nights.

2012 IPCC SPECIAL REPORT
heat cramps
Heat Cramps
  • Muscle pains or spasms
    • Abdomen, arms, or legs
    • Occur with strenuous activity in the presence of heat
  • Due to salt imbalance
    • Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place.
    • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
    • No strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
    • Seek medical attention if heat cramps do not subside in 1 hour.
heat exhaustion
Heat Exhaustion
  • Symptoms
    • Intense Thirst
    • Heavy sweating
    • Weak, pale
    • Headache
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Dizziness/fainting
    • Fatigue
  • Core temp normal or slightly elevated
  • Skin moist/cool
heat stroke

Heat exhaustion may progress to heat stroke, which is a severe illness.

Core body temperature of 105°F+

Hot, dry skin

Delirium

Convulsions

Coma

Possible death

Heat Stroke
extreme heat can lead to death

750 people died from heat-related illness in the 1995 Chicago heat wave

The number of reported heat-related deaths and illness is expected to rise due to the projected increase in frequency, duration, and magnitude of extreme heat events.

Extreme heat can lead to DEATH
heat air pollution respiratory issues

As people turn on their air conditioning during heat waves, their use of fossil fuels increases the amount of air pollution in the atmosphere.

This pollution may exacerbate preexisting conditions such as angina and asthma and may lead to increased death rates.

Heat, Air Pollution, Respiratory Issues
respiratory issues ozone
Respiratory Issues: Ozone

Healthy Airway

Inflamed Airway

cardiovascular issues

Heat increases skin blood vessel dilation, affects blood pressure, and increases effective blood volume

  • Incidence of stroke and cardiovascular hospitalizations increase as temperature increases.
  • Increased ozone due to increasing temperature affects the cardiovascular system and can increase the risk of heart arrhythmias and heart attack.
Cardiovascular issues
case study 2003 european heat wave

Final estimate: 70,000 excess deaths

Greatest impact: elderly, the chronically ill and young children

In typically cool Europe, many people had no air conditioning

Case Study: 2003 European Heat Wave
slide23

According to a study lead by climate expert, Dr. Peter Stott, “If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, by the 2040s more than half of European summers will be hotter than the summer of 2003, and by the end of this century, a summer as hot as that of 2003 will be considered unusually cool.”

Jami Dwyer, Wikimedia Commons

precipitation events

Rising temperatures increase global evaporation rates.

  • Increasing sea temperatures increase hurricane intensity and duration
  • More intense hurricanes, flooding, and storms.
Precipitation Events
impacts on agriculture

Warmer temperatures:

  • reduce overall crop yields;
  • decrease rates of photosynthesis, reduce soil moisture;
  • Increase water demand and survival of plant pests, diseases and weeds
Impacts on agriculture
heat contributes to wildfires
Heat contributes to Wildfires
  • Extended periods of drought and decreased soil moisture raise the risk of wildfires
  • Increasing wildfires can lead to death or injury, and increase fine particulate air pollution
heat affects mental health

Heat waves contribute to more alcohol and substance abuse.

  • Prolonged and more severe heat waves increase homicide, suicide, physical abuse, and spousal abuse.
  • Just an increase of 1 degree F may increase the risk of violent behavior, especially in warm climates and the inner city.
  • The mentally ill are also a vulnerable population.
HEAT AFFECTS Mental Health
vulnerable populations

Elderly

    • About 0.5 - 2% of the annual deaths in older age groups in Europe is due to heat
  • Pre-existing medical condition
  • Immobile
  • Mental illness
  • Economically disadvantaged
Vulnerable Populations:
heat wave adaptation strategies

Work with local governments

  • Expand local green spaces and plant more trees to reduce heat islands
  • Paint surfaces white (roofs, asphalt, parking lots)
  • Establish heat monitoring and warning systems
  • Set up local cooling centers and provide transportation to these centers
  • Create social support networks across vulnerable populations
Heat Wave Adaptation Strategies

Physicians for Social Responsibility

heat wave adaptation strategies1

When outdoors, limit physical exertion, stay in the shade, wear loose clothing and hats

Take cool showers and baths

Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids

Eat lightly. Avoid using stoves or ovens to heat food

Close curtains and blinds to keep out sunlight

Use air conditioning when available or move to lower floors

Identify location of and transportation to local cooling centers

Establish a “buddy system”

Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and stroke

Heat wave adaptation strategies:

Anticipatory guidance for patients:

preventing climate change

Renewable energy makes good environmental and economic sense

Use alternative energy sources for lighting, heating and powering your home

Alternative sources of energy are less vulnerable to energy disruptions in the event of a disaster

Preventing climate change:

Alternative Energy Generation:

Photos: HCWH, Practice Greenhealth

clinicians can play a key role combating climate change

Encourage green practices and energy efficiency in your medical facility

Provide brochures, relevant literature and informational posters in waiting areas and lobbies to educate patients and their families about how they can reduce their emissions

Make recommendations to patients that improve health and wellbeing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (such as eat less meat, walk and bike more, use public transit)

Clinicians Can Play a Key Role Combating Climate Change
question 11

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, what was the deadliest type of extreme weather event to strike the US?

  • Tornadoes
  • Floods
  • Heat
Question #1
question 21

The urban heat island phenomenon causes warmer temperatures in cities during both the daytime and the nighttime.

  • True
  • False
Question #2
question 41

According to the IPCC, heat waves are expected to increase in

Frequency

Magnitude

Duration

All of the above

Question #4
question 51

Describe 3 consequences of heat stroke.

Core body temperature of 105°F+

Hot, dry skin

Delirium

Convulsions

Coma

Possible death

Question #5
question 61

When high heat threatens, what anticipatory guidance can health practitioners give to patients and their families to help them stay safe? Give three examples.

When outdoors, limit physical exertion, stay in the shade, wear loose clothing and hats

Take cool showers and baths

Drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids

Eat lightly. Avoid using stoves or ovens to heat food

Close curtains and blinds to keep out sunlight

Use air conditioning when available or move to lower floors

Identify location of and transportation to local cooling centers

Establish a “buddy system”

Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and stroke

Question #6
join together for change
Join Together for Change

www.PSR.org

202-667-4260